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Double screening: how Hollywood embraced Instagram

Charmaine Blake

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In an expanding set of films, characters are posting, following and tapping as the industry recognizes the undeniable importance of the gram

“In the 17th-century Massachusetts Bay colony, they used visions of specters to root out alleged consorts of Satan. In the new film Assassination Nation, the only fuel a modern witch-hunt needs is Instagram.

The photo-sharing social media app plays a central role in Sam Levinsons debut feature, which plunges a fictitious version of Salem into lawless chaos following a mass leak of the townships private data. The script is conversant in the online language of whatever weve chosen to call the generation succeeding the millennials, and it recognizes Instagram as their combination podium, proscenium and proving ground. Absent-mindedly scrolling through the infinite feed of hyperspeed food prep videos and puppy pictures eventually comes to feel like a medium of being, water to the fish. Among many other things, its a fragile social ecosystem that can be thrown into violent disarray by the ugly truth.

Assassination Nation is just the latest in an expanding rank of films that dare not just invoke Instagram by name, but to actively interrogate its effects and utility. Even through the thick fog of sensationalism and paranoia, Levinson takes a circumspect view on the potential for good along with the psychological pitfalls of an app that makes self-presentation into a science under absolute control. Even within the past two years, American films have approached the gram as a locus of obsessive jealousy, a channel affording connection to the isolated, and a window to an escapism preferable to a users provincial life. Considered as a whole, these films paint a portrait of a tool for individual use, albeit one more powerful than most of its wielders care to realize. It may only be as evil as the person tapping the screen, but it has a seductive way of coaxing out our worst impulses.

Crystal Moselles Skate Kitchen began as an Instagram feed…………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/sep/20/instagram-movies-assassination-nation-skate-kitchen

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Why the dance numbers in the new ‘Aladdin’ are so disappointing

Charmaine Blake

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‘Remember the steps. Remember your training. Do not embarrass us.’

Image: Daniel Smith/disney

“Disney’s highly anticipated Aladdin is here, but we know better than to expect anything groundbreaking from another needless live-action adaptation. While remake has pleasantly surprised most critics with colorful costumes and charismatic leads, Aladdin‘s signature songs are its biggest disappointment.

From Mashable’s own Angie Han: “Guy Ritchie and his team seem to have no idea how to stage and shoot a musical number,” which is precisely the opposite of what you want to hear about the director of a movie musical (much less one who was married to Madonna).

So, where and how did Aladdin botch its opportunities for movie musical greatness? Let us count the ways.

Image: giphy

Aladdin is tricky to negotiate from a representational standpoint because it was never based on one specific culture. The animated film was an amalgam of Middle Eastern and South Asian visual inspirations, and the live-action takes this at face value, doing the same and adding literally nothing to it. This piece references Bollywood dance numbers a few times, not because of any confusion about where Aladdin takes place, but because India has a booming film industry that thrives on movie musicals that Disney would’ve done well to study…………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/aladdin-dancing/

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How The Blair Witch Project changed horror for ever

Charmaine Blake

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The movie’s marketing took advantage of trust in the early internet, but fake news isn’t what it used to be

“We will never get a movie like The Blair Witch Project again. Having said that, weve had dozens of movies like The Blair Witch Project. In the 20 years since its release, it has transformed the horror landscape, and more besides. Found footage is now a sub-genre in itself thanks to it. How many horror movies have we seen claiming: This all really happened, honest? How many occult symbols and folk myths have crossed our screens? How many gung-ho teens have set off on an adventure, never to return? And how many times has a gimmicky horror reaped rewards for virtually no outlay? Blair Witch did not invent all these tricks but it put them together to create a phenomenon. It is the 21st centurys Exorcist………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/08/how-the-blair-witch-project-changed-horror-for-ever

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Yes, ‘New Mutants’ is still coming, Probably.

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Jean Grey comes into her powers in ‘Dark Phoenix’.

Image: 20th Century Fox

“The X-Men are part of the Disney family now, and never has that felt clearer than at the studio’s CinemaCon presentation Wednesday.

Disney touted both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants as part of its upcoming slate, alongside the usual Avengers and Star Wars and Pixa

What exactly the X-Men’s future looks like at the Mouse House, though, remains unclear.

Deadpool clearly isn’t going anywhere. “You’ll be seeing more of Deadpool in the years ahead,” promised studio chairman Alan Horn, after sharing Ryan Reynolds’ cheeky tweet about Fox joining Disney.

And New Mutants, despite delayed release dates, reports of reshoots, and rumors of a straight-to-streaming distribution plan, does seem to be headed to cinemas — it was included on a slide of Disney’s 2019 theatrical releases.

But the core X-Men franchise led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sophie Turner is evidently coming to a conclusion. Dark Phoenix, out this summer, was described by 20th Century Fox’s Emma Watts as “the perfect sendoff” to the X-Men series……………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/dark-phoenix-deadpool-xmen-disney-cinemacon/

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